I knew this vacation wasn’t really going to be a vacation. That is true with visits back to home anytime. Lots of people to meet and pack in a place or two to visit and the two weeks fly by before you know it. Unlike those fortunate few who can stay for closer to a month, our schedules don’t permit it. Work always tethers you back in the US.
The next couple of days was a trip to Dharmastala and Kukke Subrahmanya. These are two holy places in the state of Karnataka. We had hired a van and with a few family members we were off the next day morning after we had landed. It is best to beat the jet lag keeping yourself active.
An on-the-time start in the morning, picking up a couple of relatives and we were on the outskirts of Bangalore by 8:00 AM. Then on the newly constructed national highway NR-85 was a breeze to drive on. Our hired driver was doing a great job navigating the early morning traffic early on within the city and he continued to do so. India is India always. You could see people driving in the wrong direction and people and village folks crossing the busy highway, some regardless of the speeding vehicles. And, of course, cows who were even unaware of the danger zipping by every minute.
After a sumptuous breakfast at Swathi’s delicacy we were back on the road. There are many eat-in restaurants alongside the highway now that the population of cars has exploded. Many youngsters take advantage of the weekends and the good roads and the new-found freedom of self-driving and head out to the roads. The restaurant had a wait time of 15 minutes, but it was well worth the wait. The coffee in Bangalore has me hooked. I start with a cup and end with a cuppa! Nobody does that I guess.
We made an impromptu stop at Halebidu and Belur – two of outstanding marks of temple building workmanship nurtured by the Hoysala kings. The one complex of temple each we visited at these places was just a sample I came to know. The carvings depict different aspects of the religion such as gods, living style, dance, etc. We didn’t have time to hire a guide so we breezed through taking a few photos. It didn’t feel justified to walk away visiting the temples spending half hour where it took nearly nine decades for the construction with thousands of workers. That means I need to visit these again sometime in the future and spend enough time to understand well what went on. The temples were built around 1121 A. D. The Hoysaleswara temple has no two carvings that are identical and took thirty years.